Late last month, South Korean lawmaker An Min-suk of the ruling Democratic Party stood before the media in Seoul to explain a resolution proposed in the National Assembly.

Displayed on the podium before him were illustrations of two flags: Japan's Rising Sun, which portrays a red sun with 16 rays extending outward, and the swastika flag of Nazi Germany. The two were linked with an equals sign placed between them, suggesting they are equivalent symbols of wartime militarism.

That view has been strongly rejected by conservative Japanese lawmakers and the Foreign Ministry.